Beginning February 1, Urbana’s Krannert Center will showcase a month of riches from local talent and visiting performers. But, in this unusually rich month, there is a bit of bad news.

First, the bad news, the February 27 concert of legendary pianist Murray Perahia has been canceled. Health issues have led to the cancellation of a major portion of his North American tour. The 72-year-old and eight-time Grammy Award winner has canceled with an announcement that “health reasons” have forced him off the concert circuit.

Do not despair for worthy events at Krannert in February as our local ensembles have a variety of concerts. Beginning February 1, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony will feature world-class violinist Rachel Barton Pine. She will be the soloist in Samuel Barber’s violin concerto.

On February 4, our string quartet in residence, The Jupiter Quartet, will perform a program of 19th and 20th-century works. If you have not experienced this remarkable ensemble and love great music, you have really missed something.

February 8 brings the Sinfonia da Camera to the stage of the Foellinger Great Hall. Maestro Ian Hobson’s program includes bassoon and marimba soloists and composers as diverse as Andres Koppel, Brit Arnold Bax, and Germans Carl Maria von Weber and Franz Schubert.

University of Illinois students will showcase their talents in many ensembles and dimensions in February. The UI Symphony performs on February 14, the Illinois Wind Symphony on February 26 and the Illinois Wind Orchestra and Hindsley Symphonic Band on February 28. As if the School of Music is not busy enough during February, they are pairing with the Lyric Theatre@ Illinois for a staging of “Cabaret,” which will run from February 27 to March 8.

If you have not experienced an evening with Anna Deavere Smith, you have been cheated. This extraordinary writer and performer has much to say and says it with a performance style that will draw you into the story. She will perform on February 18 in the Colwell Playhouse. She will return to the Colwell Playhouse on February 19 for a free discussion and culture talk. Note-Tickets are required for this free event.

Anna Deveare Smith will appear at the Krannert Center on February 18 and 19. Photo Courtesy of the Krannert Center.

Lovers of vocal music can experience the very cream of the choral groups, The St. Olaf Choir on February 11. Led by University of Illinois graduate, Anton Armstrong, this world-class a cappella choir from Northfield, Minnesota, will truly resonate in the warm acoustics of the Foellinger Great Hall.

The Saint Olaf Choir will perform at the Krannert Center on February 11. Photo Courtesy of the Krannert Center.

What better way to enjoy that extra day in February than with the Siberian State Orchestra. No doubt many doubters will wonder if any symphonies exist in Siberia if you hold to the stereotype of tundras, forests and ice. But, Siberia is 27% urban and has three cities of over one million. One of them is Krasnoyarsk, a major junction on the Trans-Siberian Railway that Anton Chekhov called the most beautiful city in Siberia. It is the home of the Siberian State Symphony.

Their program of Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky will remind you of the richness of Russia in the performing arts as a February of riches draws to a close.

Note: the performance of the Siberian State Orchestra has been canceled.

For further information go to, or call the Krannert box Office at—333-6280.

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Jeff Nelson

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